By Kent E. Peterson
September 23, 2011
UR Pride believes the health of a community is important. The centre also believes everyone should have access to a safe and supportive environment and that all people should be free from marginalization and prejudice based on their gender and sexual identities. UR Pride offers resources, research, education, and services to anyone seeking them. The centre has done substantial research and work surrounding a positive space network, and next year is to host a national conference relating to queer services and issues. It is a centre we can all be proud of, regardless of our individual sexual orientation and identity. I would urge each and every student to contact UR Pride (www.urpride.ca), or URSU’s LGBTI director, and sign the referendum petition so the required number of signatures can be reached and a referendum called. It is my hope the referendum will be held shortly after all the petitions are submitted. Keep in mind, signing the petition is no indication of your support or opposition to the referendum question – it simply allows a referendum to be held.
LGBTQ youth are far more likely than non-LGBTQ youth to commit suicide, drop out of school, and be the victims of discrimination and violence based on sexual and gender identity. Education and creating a safe environment are important for everyone, meaning we all benefit from the work of UR Pride.
I am delighted this petition and referendum process has begun. We need to collectively think about how important safety, inclusion, and acceptance are to us, and then we need to seriously think about the current model from which UR Pride receives funding and decide whether it is fair, stable, and most efficiently enables us to reach our goals as a university, and as a society.